The Fog (1980)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 3/26/18
Producer: Debra Hill
Director: John Carpenter
Music: John Carpenter
Cast: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Houseman, Janet Leigh, Nancy Loomis, Hal Holbrook

On the 100th anniversary of a tragic shipwreck in Antonio Bay, the cursed spirits of the dead crew return in a mysterious fog bank to seek revenge. Stevie Wayne (Adrienne Barbeau) is the local radio DJ who realizes something strange is going on in the fog and tries to alert the town to the danger. Meanwhile, Nick Castle (John Houseman) investigates a missing boat with a young hitchhiker (Jamie Lee Curtis), and Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) uncovers some awful secrets about the town's past in his grandfather's journal. Can anything stop the bloodthirsty spirits?

It's a lesser effort from John Carpenter, but it's beautifully filmed and the haunting music is excellent. The cast and characters are wonderful, but languid pacing and tacky visual effects betray the film's lean budget. What's interesting to me is that Adrienne Barbeau spends nearly the entire film alone in a lighthouse, either talking on the phone or speaking into a microphone. There are only two scenes where she actually interacts with other people, which seems like a unique experience for a film actor to have. Fans of Carpenter's work may appreciate its charms, but the slow burn can make it challenging to watch.